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Special Issue "Governing Forest Restoration: Social, Environmental and Institutional Dimensions"

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A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2013)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Manuel R. Guariguata

Center for International Forestry Research, Indonesia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +62 251 8622622
Interests: tropical forest management for multiple goods and services; forest ecology
Guest Editor
Dr. Pedro H.S. Brancalion

Department of Forestry, “Luiz de Queiroz” College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +55 19 21058630
Interests: tropical forest restoration; forest ecology; silviculture

Special Issue Information

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs).

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Pages: 18, 198
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Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Current Challenges and Perspectives for Governing Forest Restoration
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3022-3030; doi:10.3390/f5123022
Received: 26 November 2014 / Accepted: 1 December 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (237 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Negotiation, reconciliation of multiple scales through both ecological and social dimensions and minimization of power imbalances are considered critical challenges to overcome for effective governance of forest restoration. Finding the right mix of “command and control” in forest restoration vs. “environmental governance”, which
[...] Read more.
Negotiation, reconciliation of multiple scales through both ecological and social dimensions and minimization of power imbalances are considered critical challenges to overcome for effective governance of forest restoration. Finding the right mix of “command and control” in forest restoration vs. “environmental governance”, which includes non-state actors, regulatory flexibility, and market based instruments is at the heart of these challenges. This Special Issue attempts at shedding light on these challenges with case studies from South and Central America, Africa, and Asia. Some provide within-country as well as cross-country comparisons. A few others present case studies at the household level. Both policy and legal constraints towards implementing forest restoration are also discussed as a function of top down vs. bottom up approaches. The effectiveness of payments for environmental services is examined as catalyzers of forest restoration initiatives. Finally, two papers deal with the legal and policy constraints in making restoration through natural regeneration a viable and cost-effective tool. In the face of renewed perspectives for expanding forest restoration programs globally, governance issues will likely play a key role in eventually determining success. As many of the papers in this Special Issue suggest, the fate of forest restoration outcomes is, more often than not, associated with overall governance challenges, some of which are often overlooked particularly across multiple scales. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle China’s Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program for Household Delivery of Ecosystem Services: How Important is a Local Implementation Regime to Survival Rate Outcomes?
Forests 2014, 5(9), 2345-2376; doi:10.3390/f5092345
Received: 2 February 2014 / Revised: 3 September 2014 / Accepted: 3 September 2014 / Published: 25 September 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (808 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China’s Conversion of Cropland to Forests Program (CCFP) is the world’s largest afforestation-based Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) program, having retired and afforested over 24 million ha involving 32 million rural households. Prior research has primarily focused on the CCFP’s rural welfare impacts,
[...] Read more.
China’s Conversion of Cropland to Forests Program (CCFP) is the world’s largest afforestation-based Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) program, having retired and afforested over 24 million ha involving 32 million rural households. Prior research has primarily focused on the CCFP’s rural welfare impacts, with few studies on program-induced environmental improvements, particularly at the household level. In this study, data from a 2010 survey covering 2808 rural households from across China was analyzed using an interval regression model to explain household-reported survival rates of trees planted on program-enrolled cropland. In addition to household-level factors, we explore the influence of local conditions and institutional configurations by exploiting the wide diversity of contexts covered by the data set. We find that households with more available labor and more forestry experience manage trees better, but that higher opportunity costs for both land and labor have the opposite effect. We also find that the local implementation regime- e.g., the degree of prior consultation with participants and regular monitoring - has a strong positive effect on reported survivorship. We suggest that the level of subsidy support to participating households will be key to survivorship of trees in planted CCFP forests for some time to come. Full article
Open AccessArticle Governing and Delivering a Biome-Wide Restoration Initiative: The Case of Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact in Brazil
Forests 2014, 5(9), 2212-2229; doi:10.3390/f5092212
Received: 11 February 2014 / Revised: 2 September 2014 / Accepted: 4 September 2014 / Published: 19 September 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (427 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In many human-modified tropical landscapes, biodiversity conservation and the provision of ecosystem services require large-scale restoration initiatives. Such initiatives must be able to augment the amount and the quality of remaining natural habitats. There is thus a growing need for long-term, multi-stakeholder and
[...] Read more.
In many human-modified tropical landscapes, biodiversity conservation and the provision of ecosystem services require large-scale restoration initiatives. Such initiatives must be able to augment the amount and the quality of remaining natural habitats. There is thus a growing need for long-term, multi-stakeholder and multi-purpose initiatives that result in multiple ecological and socioeconomic benefits at the biome scale. The Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact (AFRP) is a coalition of 260+ stakeholders, including governmental agencies, private sector, NGOs and research institutions, aimed at restoring 15 million ha of degraded and deforested lands by 2050. By articulating, and then integrating common interests, this initiative has allowed different sectors of society to implement an ambitious vision and create a forum for public and private concerns regarding forest restoration. The AFRP adopts a set of governance tools so multiple actors can implement key processes to achieve long-term and visionary restoration goals. Having overcome some initial challenges, AFRP now has to incorporate underrepresented stakeholders and enhance its efforts to make forest restoration more economically viable, including cases where restoration could be less expensive and profitable. The AFRP experience has resulted in many lessons learned, which can be shared to foster similar initiatives across tropical regions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Re-Greening Ethiopia: History, Challenges and Lessons
Forests 2014, 5(8), 1896-1909; doi:10.3390/f5081896
Received: 25 February 2014 / Revised: 1 July 2014 / Accepted: 7 July 2014 / Published: 31 July 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Ethiopia, deforestation rates remain high and the gap between demand and domestic supply of forest products is expanding, even though government-initiated re-greening efforts began over a century ago. Today, over 3 million hectares (ha) of degraded forest land are under area exclosure;
[...] Read more.
In Ethiopia, deforestation rates remain high and the gap between demand and domestic supply of forest products is expanding, even though government-initiated re-greening efforts began over a century ago. Today, over 3 million hectares (ha) of degraded forest land are under area exclosure; smallholder plantations cover 0.8 million ha; and state-owned industrial plantations stagnate at under 0.25 million ha. This review captures experiences related to re-greening practices in Ethiopia, specifically with regards to area exclosure and afforestation and reforestation, and distills lessons regarding processes, achievements and challenges. The findings show that farmers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are the main players, and that the private sector has so far played only a small role. The role of the government was mixed: supportive in some cases and hindering in others. The challenges of state- and NGO-led re-greening practices are: inadequate involvement of communities; poorly defined rehabilitation objectives; lack of management plans; unclear responsibilities and benefit-sharing arrangements; and poor silvicultural practices. The lessons include: a more active role for non-state actors in re-greening initiatives; more attention to market signals; devolution of management responsibility; clear definition of responsibilities and benefit-sharing arrangements; and better tenure security, which are all major factors to success. Full article
Open AccessArticle Challenges of Governing Second-Growth Forests: A Case Study from the Brazilian Amazonian State of Pará
Forests 2014, 5(7), 1737-1752; doi:10.3390/f5071737
Received: 11 April 2014 / Revised: 9 July 2014 / Accepted: 10 July 2014 / Published: 22 July 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (5105 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the growing ecological and social importance of second-growth and regenerating forests across much of the world, significant inconsistencies remain in the legal framework governing these forests in many tropical countries and elsewhere. Such inconsistencies and uncertainties undermine attempts to improve both the
[...] Read more.
Despite the growing ecological and social importance of second-growth and regenerating forests across much of the world, significant inconsistencies remain in the legal framework governing these forests in many tropical countries and elsewhere. Such inconsistencies and uncertainties undermine attempts to improve both the transparency and sustainability of management regimes. Here, we present a case-study overview of some of the main challenges facing the governance of second-growth forests and the forest restoration process in the Brazilian Amazon, with a focus on the state of Pará, which is both the most populous state in the Amazon and the state with the highest rates of deforestation in recent years. First, we briefly review the history of environmental governance in Brazil that has led to the current system of legislation governing second-growth forests and the forest restoration process in Pará. Next, we draw on this review to examine the kinds of legislative and operational impediments that stand in the way of the development and implementation of a more effective governance system. In particular, we highlight problems created by significant ambiguities in legal terminology and inconsistencies in guidance given across different levels of government. We also outline some persistent problems with the implementation of legal guidance, including the need to understand local biophysical factors in order to guide an effective restoration program, as well as difficulties presented by access to technical assistance, institutional support and financial resources for the establishment and monitoring of both existing secondary forests and newly regenerating areas of forest. Whilst we focus here on a Brazilian case study, we suggest that these kinds of impediments to the good governance of second-growth forests are commonplace and require more concerted attention from researchers, managers and policy makers. Full article
Open AccessArticle Governing Forest Landscape Restoration: Cases from Indonesia
Forests 2014, 5(6), 1143-1162; doi:10.3390/f5061143
Received: 20 January 2014 / Revised: 16 May 2014 / Accepted: 20 May 2014 / Published: 28 May 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (662 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forest landscape restoration includes both the planning and implementation of measures to restore degraded forests within the perspective of the wider landscape. Governing forest landscape restoration requires fundamental considerations about the conceptualisation of forested landscapes and the types of restoration measures to be
[...] Read more.
Forest landscape restoration includes both the planning and implementation of measures to restore degraded forests within the perspective of the wider landscape. Governing forest landscape restoration requires fundamental considerations about the conceptualisation of forested landscapes and the types of restoration measures to be taken, and about who should be engaged in the governance process. A variety of governance approaches to forest landscape restoration exist, differing in both the nature of the object to be governed and the mode of governance. This paper analyses the nature and governance of restoration in three cases of forest landscape restoration in Indonesia. In each of these cases, both the original aim for restoration and the initiators of the process differ. The cases also differ in how deeply embedded they are in formal spatial planning mechanisms at the various political scales. Nonetheless, the cases show similar trends. All cases show a dynamic process of mobilising the landscape’s stakeholders, plus a flexible process of crafting institutional space for conflict management, negotiation and decision making at the landscape level. As a result, the landscape focus changed over time from reserved forests to forested mosaic lands. The cases illustrate that the governance of forest landscape restoration should not be based on strict design criteria, but rather on a flexible governance approach that stimulates the creation of novel public-private institutional arrangements at the landscape level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Redefining Secondary Forests in the Mexican Forest Code: Implications for Management, Restoration, and Conservation
Forests 2014, 5(5), 978-991; doi:10.3390/f5050978
Received: 17 December 2013 / Revised: 14 May 2014 / Accepted: 15 May 2014 / Published: 21 May 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (585 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Mexican Forest Code establishes structural reference values to differentiate between secondary and old-growth forests and requires a management plan when secondary forests become old-growth and potentially harvestable forests. The implications of this regulation for forest management, restoration, and conservation were assessed in
[...] Read more.
The Mexican Forest Code establishes structural reference values to differentiate between secondary and old-growth forests and requires a management plan when secondary forests become old-growth and potentially harvestable forests. The implications of this regulation for forest management, restoration, and conservation were assessed in the context of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, which is located in the Yucatan Peninsula. The basal area and stem density thresholds currently used by the legislation to differentiate old-growth from secondary forests are 4 m2/ha and 15 trees/ha (trees with a diameter at breast height of >25 cm); however, our research indicates that these values should be increased to 20 m2/ha and 100 trees/ha, respectively. Given that a management plan is required when secondary forests become old-growth forests, many landowners avoid forest-stand development by engaging slash-and-burn agriculture or cattle grazing. We present evidence that deforestation and land degradation may prevent the natural regeneration of late-successional tree species of high ecological and economic importance. Moreover, we discuss the results of this study in the light of an ongoing debate in the Yucatan Peninsula between policy makers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), landowners and researchers, regarding the modification of this regulation to redefine the concept of acahual (secondary forest) and to facilitate forest management and restoration with valuable timber tree species. Full article
Open AccessArticle Multi-Scalar Governance for Restoring the Brazilian Atlantic Forest: A Case Study on Small Landholdings in Protected Areas of Sustainable Development
Forests 2014, 5(4), 599-619; doi:10.3390/f5040599
Received: 7 February 2014 / Revised: 14 March 2014 / Accepted: 20 March 2014 / Published: 3 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (866 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Implementation of forest restoration projects requires cross-scale and hybrid forms of governance involving the state, the market, civil society, individuals, communities, and other actors. Using a case study from the Atlantic Forest Hotspot, we examine the governance of a large-scale forest restoration project
[...] Read more.
Implementation of forest restoration projects requires cross-scale and hybrid forms of governance involving the state, the market, civil society, individuals, communities, and other actors. Using a case study from the Atlantic Forest Hotspot, we examine the governance of a large-scale forest restoration project implemented by an international non-governmental organization (NGO) on family farmer landholdings located within protected areas of sustainable development. In addition to forest restoration, the project aims to provide an economic benefit to participating farmers by including native species with market potential (fruits, timber) in restoration models and by contracting farmers in the planting phase. We employed qualitative methods such as structured interviews and participant observation to assess the effect of environmental policy and multi-scalar governance on implementation and acceptability of the project by farmers. We demonstrate that NGO and farmer expectations for the project were initially misaligned, hampering farmer participation. Furthermore, current policy complicated implementation and still poses barriers to project success, and projects must remain adaptable to changing legal landscapes. We recommend increased incorporation of social science methods in earlier stages of projects, as well as throughout the course of implementation, in order to better assess the needs and perspectives of participants, as well as to minimize trade-offs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle From Target to Implementation: Perspectives for the International Governance of Forest Landscape Restoration
Forests 2014, 5(3), 482-497; doi:10.3390/f5030482
Received: 11 November 2013 / Revised: 28 February 2014 / Accepted: 7 March 2014 / Published: 24 March 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (503 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Continuing depletion of forest resources, particularly in tropical developing countries, has turned vast areas of intact ecosystems into urbanized and agricultural lands. The degree of degradation varies, but in most cases, the ecosystem functions and the ability to provide a variety of ecosystem
[...] Read more.
Continuing depletion of forest resources, particularly in tropical developing countries, has turned vast areas of intact ecosystems into urbanized and agricultural lands. The degree of degradation varies, but in most cases, the ecosystem functions and the ability to provide a variety of ecosystem services are severely impaired. In addition to many other challenges, successful forest restoration of these lands requires considerable resources and funding, but the ecological, economic and social benefits have the potential to outweigh the investment. As a consequence, at the international policy level, restoration is seen as a field of land use activities that provides significant contributions to simultaneously achieving different environmental and social policy objectives. Accordingly, different policy processes at the international policy level have made ecological landscape restoration a global priority, in particular the Convention on Biological Diversity with the Aichi Target 15 agreed upon in 2010, which aims at restoring 15% of all degraded land areas by 2020. While such ambitious policy targets are important for recognizing and agreeing upon solutions for environmental problems, they are unlikely to be further substantiated or governed. The objective of this paper is thus to develop a complementary governance approach to the top-down implementation of the Aichi target. Drawing on collaborative and network governance theories, we discuss the potential of a collaborative networked governance approach and perspectives for overcoming the inherent challenges facing a rapid large-scale restoration of degraded lands. Full article
Open AccessArticle Do PES Improve the Governance of Forest Restoration?
Forests 2014, 5(3), 404-424; doi:10.3390/f5030404
Received: 9 December 2013 / Revised: 3 March 2014 / Accepted: 6 March 2014 / Published: 17 March 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (769 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Payments for Environmental Services (PES) are praised as innovative policy instruments and they influence the governance of forest restoration efforts in two major ways. The first is the establishment of multi-stakeholder agencies as intermediary bodies between funders and planters to manage the funds
[...] Read more.
Payments for Environmental Services (PES) are praised as innovative policy instruments and they influence the governance of forest restoration efforts in two major ways. The first is the establishment of multi-stakeholder agencies as intermediary bodies between funders and planters to manage the funds and to distribute incentives to planters. The second implication is that specific contracts assign objectives to land users in the form of conditions for payments that are believed to increase the chances for sustained impacts on the ground. These implications are important in the assessment of the potential of PES to operate as new and effective funding schemes for forest restoration. They are analyzed by looking at two prominent payments for watershed service programs in Indonesia—Cidanau (Banten province in Java) and West Lombok (Eastern Indonesia)—with combined economic and political science approaches. We derive lessons for the governance of funding efforts (e.g., multi-stakeholder agencies are not a guarantee of success; mixed results are obtained from a reliance on mandatory funding with ad hoc regulations, as opposed to voluntary contributions by the service beneficiary) and for the governance of financial expenditure (e.g., absolute need for evaluation procedures for the internal governance of farmer groups). Furthermore, we observe that these governance features provide no guarantee that restoration plots with the highest relevance for ecosystem services are targeted by the PES. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview A Comparison of Governance Challenges in Forest Restoration in Paraguay’s Privately-Owned Forests and Madagascar’s Co-managed State Forests
Forests 2014, 5(4), 763-783; doi:10.3390/f5040763
Received: 20 January 2014 / Revised: 18 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (537 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Governance of forest restoration is significantly impacted by who are the owners of and rights holders to the forest. We review two cases, Paraguay’s Atlantic forest and Madagascar’s forests and shrublands, where forest restoration is a priority and where forest ownership and rights
[...] Read more.
Governance of forest restoration is significantly impacted by who are the owners of and rights holders to the forest. We review two cases, Paraguay’s Atlantic forest and Madagascar’s forests and shrublands, where forest restoration is a priority and where forest ownership and rights are having direct repercussions on forest restoration. In Paraguay where a large proportion of forests are in the hands of private landowners, specific legislation, government incentives, costs and benefits of forest restoration, and the role of international markets for commodities are all key factors, among others, that influence the choice of private landowners to engage or not in forest restoration. On the other hand, in Madagascar’s co-managed state forests, while some similar challenges exist with forest restoration, such as the pressures from international markets, other specific challenges can be identified notably the likely long term impact of investment in forest restoration on land rights, traditional authority, and direct links to elements of human wellbeing. In this paper, we explore and contrast how these different drivers and pressures affect the restoration of forests under these two different property regimes. Full article

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